Deacon v Bower

CourtRoyal Court
Judge(Crill, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Le Quesne and Le Breton):
Judgment Date17 February 1978
Date17 February 1978
(Crill, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Le Quesne and Le Breton):

F.C. Hamon for the plaintiff;

G.R. Boxall for the defendant.

Bankruptcy—remise de biens—contract passed during remise—contract valid if "arrangement des affaires" achieved and décret unnecessary—if "non-arrangement," contract is "nul et non avenu," i.e. voidable but only at suit of creditors

Contract—void contracts—void or voidable—contract duly passed before court only nul, i.e. void ab initio, if inherently defective through (a) incapacity, (b) fundamental mistake, (c) contrary to public policy, or (d) lack of prescribed form—annulable, i.e. voidable, if validity questioned as result of subsequent event

CRILL, DEPUTY BAILIFF: The defendant in this case, Mr. Arthur Le Blancq Bower, is the owner of what is left of the property known as "Les Buttes", St. Mary, which he acquired, partly in his capacity as principal heir of his father, Mr. Philippe Francis Bower, and partly from his co-heir and brothers, by contract between them of the 7th April, 1971. Although no evidence was heard, because the issue was one of law, we had tendered a bundle of documents to assist us and the above statement is taken from the relevé of the defendant's transactions prepared at the time of the dégrèvement (to which we will return later). The relevant sequence of events is as follows.

In 1970 the defendant sold a number of building lots to the east of the main property for a total of £8,500. There remained some plots of land to the north and to the east of the main house. The defendant, having got into financial difficulties, applied to the Royal Court on the 6th September, 1974, under the Loi (1839) sur les Remises de Biens. On the. 10th September the Court granted a remise for six months, which was renewed for a further six months on the 14th March, 1975. On the 4th October, 1974, in proper form, and attended with all the necessary formalities, including the consent of the two Jurats appointed by the Court to supervise the remise, the defendant sold the parcels of land to the north and east of Les Buttes to L'Onadas Investments Limited for £34,000. According to a memorandum prepared by the defendant's then Advocate, Mr. Anthony Clyde-Smith, he owed approximately £45,000 at the time of the remise. By September, when the remise terminated, that sum had been reduced to about £11,500. We may conclude, therefore, as appears also from the Advocate's accounts, that the nett proceeds from the sale to L'Onadas Investments Limited were used to pay off a number of the defendant's creditors. We were told that the debts of the defendant's son, Mr. John Arthur Burnett Bower, had been aggregated in arriving at the total indebtedness of the defendant; even if this is so, it is not germane to this action.

In the contract to L'Onadas Investments Limited appear the following three servitudes in favour of the Company.

"QUE la propriété que se réserve ledit Vendeur sera utilisée comme propriété de résidence bourgeoise seulement et les offices et édifices qui en dépendent ne seront servis que pour magasiner les outils de ferme, de la graine et d'engrais artificielle, mais cette restriction ne s'appliquera pas à la conduite d'une pension de famille dans ladite maison réservée par ledit Vendeur.

QUE ledit Vendeur n'aura pas le droit d'élever ou garder ou de permettre qu'on élève ou garde aucuns bestiaux ou volaille quelconque sur aucune partie de la propriété par lui reservée en ces lieux-là après le premier Janvier mil neuf cent septantecinq: étant entendu qu'il pourra néanmoms garder des bestiaux domestiques (domestic pets) d'un nombre raisonnable.

QUE ledit Vendeur n'aura pas le droit de conduire sur aucune partie de ladite propriété par lui réservée en ces lieux-là après le premier Janvier mil neuf cent septante-cinq aucun commerce qui par le bruit, la fumée ou l'odeur pourrait être nuisible aux propriétaires d'aucunes maisons qui pourront. par la suite être érigées sur aucune partie de ladite propriété présentement vendue."

Subsequently, L'Onadas Investments Limited divided the land it had acquired from the defendant into seven plots, which it sold to individual owners, of which the plaintiff is one. He brings this action under Rule 4/4(1) of the Royal Court Rules, 1968, as representative proceedings, and, accordingly, our judgment will affect not only his interest but also those whom he represents.

The remise ended on the 20th September, 1975, notwithstanding a request to the Jurats from Mr. ClydeSmith for a further extension. On the 16th January, 1976, on the application of the Midland Bank Ltd., the Royal Court ordered a dégrèvement to be carried out on the property of the defendant and appointed Advocate P.H. Giffard as the attourné. The dégrèvement was fixed for the 22nd February, 1976. On the 20th February, the Court ordered a postponement until the 1st March. On the 27th February, a memorandum was signed by Mr. Clyde-Smith (not submitted to the Court) to support an application for a further remise. It showed that the defendant's debts, including some owed jointly with his son, totalled £12,378.75. It was asserted in the memorandum that at the time the period of the remise, as extended, ran out, the defendant owned real property of a value greatly in excess of his debts. On the 1st March, the dégrèvement proceedings were postponed once again until the 12th March. On that day, Mr. and Mrs. A. Le Blancq Bower appointed Advocates Giffard and...

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5 cases
  • Zaki Ltd
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 4 September 1987
    ...COURT Crill, Bailiff: Cases cited: (1) Deacon v. Bower, 1978 J.J. 39, distinguished. (2) Gallichan v. Gallichan, 1954 J.J. 57. (3) Golder v. Société des Magasins Concorde Ltd., 1967 J.J. 721. (4) Granite Prods. Ltd. v. Renault, 1961 J.J. 163. (5) Horsley & Weight Ltd., In re, [1982] 2 Ch. 4......
  • Niall Iain MacFirbhisigh (as Curator of Barry Lionel Ching); Barbara Mary Marvell Ching v C. I. Trustees and Executors Ltd; Steven Gidley; Gary Killmister; Kevin Manning
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 17 November 2015
    ...1 W.L.R. 770. Re Morris [2001] WTLR 1137. Williams v Williams [2003] WTLR 137. Quth v Hussain [2005] EWHC 157 (Ch). Deacon v Bower [1978] J.J. 39. Sutton v Sutton [2010] WTLR 115. Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale v Islington London Borough Council [1996] A.C. 669. Nolan v Minerva Trust......
  • The B Life Interest Settlement
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 12 December 2012
    ...Trust, In re, 2009 JLR 447, applied. (2) Abdel Rahman v. Chase Bank (C.I.) Trust Co. Ltd., 1991 JLR 103, considered. (3) Deacon v. Bower, 1978 J.J. 39, referred to. (4) Friedman, In re, 2007 JLR N [7], considered. (5) Gibbon v. Mitchell, [1990] 1 W.L.R. 1304; [1990] 3 All E.R. 338, referred......
  • The B Life Interest Settlement
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 12 December 2012
    ...JP -v- Atlas Trust Company (Jersey) Limited [2008] JRC 159 . Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984. Marett & O'Brien [2008] JLR 384 . Deacon -v- Bower [1978] JJ 39 . Mauger [1870] 195 Ex 37 . Vibert -v- Vibert (1890) 48 H. 462 . Le Jeune -v- Le Jeune (1900) 49 H. 182 . Valpy -v- Channing (1946) H. 290, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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